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Just What Happened to Aaron Hernandez? 0

Posted on November 16, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Triumphs and tragedy are two words that perfectly exemplify the life of Aaron Hernandez. Growing up in the Connecticut suburb of Bristol, he was a three-sport star, winning the Gatorade player of the year, awarded to the best football player in the state. However, while Aaron succeeded on the field, his time in Bristol may have led to the beginning of his downfall.

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A Troubled Past

According to a book written by his brother, Hernandez was sexually assaulted numerous times when he was as young as 6 years old, by an older boy they used to hang out with. Combined with having an abusive father that not only struck Aaron and his brother but also Aaron’s mother, it’s clear he was brought up in an extremely toxic environment. Through it all, Hernandez kept his experiences hidden inside his own head due in large part to being taught that seeking help was a sign of weakness growing up. He kept moving forward.

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What to Do If You Hurt Your Knee Playing Football 0

Posted on November 12, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Fall is prime time for a lot of people’s favorite things: turkey and pie and football, oh my. With the NFL in full swing and the holidays just around the corner, if you’re not gathered in the living room together watching football, you’re probably on the field yourself.

While football is easily identified by the copious amount of padding and helmets, not much protection is available for your knees. It’s not that protecting your knees doesn’t matter — it’s just really difficult to prevent them from becoming injured. Knee injuries are common in many sports, but in football, it’s usually why players hobble over to stretchers and sit out for the rest of the season.

Youngblood

Here are three things to do if you find your team taking a knee because you injured yours on the field.

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Ideas for the Best Sports Themed Vacations in the USA 0

Posted on November 09, 2018 by John Harris
The Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore is one of many cool sports destinations for a sports themes vacation.

The Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore is one of many cool sports destinations for a sports themes vacation.

If you’re a devoted sports fan, there’s a good chance you grab every opportunity to watch your favorites on television, and with very few sports not getting airtime on one of the hundreds of channels available, that’s a lot of sport! Watching on TV is great, but how often do you get to see sports played live? There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a sporting arena, being able to see what goes down as it happens while you’re surrounded by thousands of other passionate devotees of your team or country.

The problem is it’s not a cheap day out in many cases, especially for the more popular sports, and it can be hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars on watching a ball game you could have stayed at home and watched for considerably less. One answer to the problem is to combine your love of sports with your annual vacation, or even a weekend away with the family. Everyone gets to enjoy the activities they’re interested in, and you get to breathe in the atmosphere of some of the most exciting and interesting sports grounds and sports-related tourist attractions, all as part of the cost of a vacation you’d have taken anyway.

Why you should take a sports-themed vacation

The chance to see and experience these places and events is something you’ll remember forever, so it’s worth making an effort to organize a few tours and attend a live event.

If you’re managing on a restricted budget, you obviously don’t want to overstretch yourself financially. However, there are still options out, therefore, you, as you can consider looking into personal loans for bad credit that can actually improve your credit ratings if you make sure the repayments are always made on time. It does you good to have memorable experiences, and may well be more rewarding than most other possessions and activities you spend your money on, so don’t let money stand in the way of living life to the full.

Baseball

Cooperstown, New York, is a must visit place for baseball fans, as you can tour The National Baseball Hall of Fame, and see where the game was invented at Doubleday Field. There’s also the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, where you can see eerily lifelike wax models of all your baseball heroes.

The movie Field of Dreams is a baseball-themed legend, and you can see what it feels like to play on the Iowa baseball diamond; a real treat for a family day out. Wrigley Park is a few hours to the east, where there are guided tours of one of the country’s most famous ballparks.

Louisville, Kentucky, may be best known for its horse racing and as being the birthplace of Muhammad Ali, but there are plenty of other sporting attractions, and baseball fans can watch a fascinating demonstration of bat-making as part of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.

Further north in Boston, is another legendary stadium. Take a tour around Fenway Park and get to the heart of what it feels like to play on this iconic ballpark.

Babe Ruth has to be one of the best-known names in baseball, and you can visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. If you’re more of a Ty Cobb fan, then his museum is a bit further south, in Royston, Atlanta. Read the rest of this entry →

What All Goes Into a Super Bowl Halftime Show? 0

Posted on October 08, 2018 by Scott Huntington

This year’s upcoming Super Bowl Halftime headliner was recently announced, and Maroon 5 will take their place on that iconic stage. While not everyone is happy about this announcement, it does lead us to another question — what really goes into creating those massive halftime shows?

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Planning Comes First

The planning stage takes the longest. The Superbowl is usually played in February, and the planning stage will start the June before the big game starts. This is what experts call the “nuts and bolts” stage — figuring out how to put together a massive show and get it all on the field in six minutes.

Yes, you read that right — in just six minutes the entire stage gets set up. This is when the show planners figure out the technical side of things, such as where to put the broadcast trucks, where to position the speakers to create the most optimum sound and how they’re going to plug in all the toys.

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Babers Has Syracuse Football on the Rise 0

Posted on October 04, 2018 by Chris Kent

Syracuse is climbing its’ way back to prominence in college football.

Dino Babers has Syracuse thinking big again on the gridiron.

Dino Babers has Syracuse thinking big again on the gridiron.

Known more for its’ notoriety as a college basketball power over most of the last two decades during which the Orange went to three Final Fours and won one national championship, Syracuse is re-emerging on the gridiron. In his third year as head coach of the Orange, Dino Babers is resurrecting Syracuse while positioning the program to return to its’ glorious past. That has not been seen since names like Donovan McNabb, Keith Bullock, Dwight Freeney, Rob Konrad, Marvin Harrison, and Donovin Darius dotted the roster from the mid and late 1990’s to the early 2000’s.

The chief evidence for the rise of the Orange came last Saturday, Sept. 29, when Syracuse took No. 3 ranked and undefeated Clemson (5-0, 2-0) to the brink of defeat on its’ home field. Only a timely and late rally by the Tigers held off a very game Orange team as Syracuse came up just short in a 27-23 loss. The Orange lead 16-7 at the half and had a 23-13 lead in the fourth quarter before the Tigers rallied with two unanswered touchdowns to pull out the win and drop Syracuse (4-1, 1-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten. That is news in itself as this season’s 4-0 start marked just the fifth time that Orange football opened 4-0 and the first time since 1991. It was a marked improvement for Syracuse which had been outscored by the Tigers 70-6 in its’ last two trips to Clemson Memorial Stadium, including a 54-0 blowout there in 2016, Babers’ first season. This year’s showing against the Tigers proved that the Orange can play with a perennial power that has made the last three college football playoffs and is trending there again this year.

Lofty accomplishments like that were mirrored earlier this season on Sept. 15 when Syracuse defeated Florida State 30-7 for the first time as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in this there sixth season as an affiliate. The gigantic victory ended the Orange’s 10-game losing streak to the Seminoles and marked Syracuse’s first win over Florida State since 1966 when pro football hall of fame running back Floyd Little played for the Orange.

Although Syracuse has been 4-8 in each of Babers’ first two seasons, there has been progress. Babers’ has lead the Orange to landmark victories against teams nationally ranked and at the top of the ACC during each of his first two seasons. Read the rest of this entry →

NFL Network’s A Football Life Has Jumped the Shark 0

Posted on September 30, 2018 by Dean Hybl
NFL Network's show A Football Life debuted in 2011.

NFL Network’s show A Football Life debuted in 2011.

In case you are not familiar with the term “Jumping the Shark”, it refers to the great 1970s TV Show Happy Days. Towards the end of its run on ABC, they had an episode when “The Fonz” somehow ended up on water skis and actually jumped a shark (or at least a mechanical shark). To fans, it signaled the moment when they knew the show was out of realistic plots and was on its way towards the end.

Given that the first three episodes of season eight of A Football Life have included a pair of shows about quarterbacks with a combined total of one conference championship appearance during their careers, I think it is clear that this once great show has passed its “Jump the Shark” moment.

When A Football Life first came on the air in 2011, it provided a fresh and innovative approach for telling about the football journeys for some of the great figures in recent NFL history. Most of those highlighted were living at the time they were featured, though that has not always been the case.

After starting with a two-part episode about New England Coach Bill Belichick, they followed up with a fresh look at a pair of former teammates whose lives ended early, Reggie White & Jerome Brown. Other tales from the opening season focused on the cinema worthy stories of Kurt Warner, Walter Payton, Ed Sabol, Mike Ditka, Tom Landry and Al Davis.

Though the second season began with a nod to the “flavor of the moment” by featuring Tim Tebow, the remainder of the season was excellent with every episode telling a unique, behind the curtain, story about an NFL Legend.

As a fan of NFL history, if there has been anything significant to criticize about the choices of former players to feature, it would be that they have almost totally ignored players from the pre-Super Bowl era and in reality, have focused disproportionately on players from the 1980s to today.

The term "Jumping the Shark" refers to an episode of Happy Days where "The Fonz" jumped a shark.

The term “Jumping the Shark” refers to an episode of Happy Days where “The Fonz” jumped a shark.

Not counting shows on former players who became coaches or broadcasters, through the first seven seasons there have only been four shows featuring players whose primary years in the league occurred prior to 1970 (Jim Brown, Joe Namath, the Los Angeles Rams Fearsome Foursome and Chicago Bears greats Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus).

To me that is really a shame. I understand maybe not going back to the beginning of NFL history to feature former greats who have been gone for generations, but given that NFL Films originated in the 1960s, I cannot understand why they have basically ignored that great era of the NFL and AFL.

Off the top of my head, I can name 10-20 players who were active in the 1960s and either are still alive or were alive when the series started that would be great to feature. Players like Bart Starr and Willie Davis from the great Packer teams, the first Dallas Cowboy draft pick Bob Lilly, Sam Huff, Alex Karras, Y.A. Tittle, Sonny Jurgensen, Len Dawson, John Brodie, Lenny Moore, Hugh McElhenny, Fran Tarkenton and the recently deceased Tommy McDonald are just a few of the many players from that era that had amazing NFL journeys and would have been great to feature in the series.

Though the bias to the post-merger era has always been there, in the early years there was at least a balance with some shows featuring players from the 1970s and early 1980s.

However, in recent years, the show seems to have become more of a vehicle for current broadcasters and recently inducted Hall of Famers.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

      Read more »

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